By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Cam Newton loves dishing out nicknames within the Patriots’ locker room. It’s really become his thing.
The genesis of some nicknames is a lot easier to figure out than others, though. And on Thursday, Newton explained exactly what went into the process of applying the nickname “30 For 30” to new receiver Isaiah Ford.
“He does have a nickname. Hot off the press. … His nickname is ’30 For 30.’ You’re probably asking yourself, ‘Why 30 For 30?'” Newton said. “So I asked him, I said, ‘Yo, Isaiah, like, do you have any nicknames you like?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah you can just call me Zay.’ I said ‘Cool, cool. Um, well, if you don’t know like, my name is Cam and I’m the nicknamer around here, pretty much, for what it’s worth.’ I said, ‘So tell me a little bit about you. Like do you have a hidden talent, do you play a musical instrument, do you know how to sing, do you know how to draw or whatever?’ And he was like, ‘No, I know how to hoop.'”
“So I looked at him, and I was like, ‘You know how to hoop?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I know how to hoop.’ And he was like, ‘Well, shoot, in high school, I averaged 30 points.’ So I said, ‘Well, there you go. 30 For 30. That’s your nickname. Boom.”
Newton said he did a little Googling and couldn’t find that statistic, but MaxPreps does indeed show Ford averaging 30.1 points per game as a senior at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. Ford does know how to hoop.
“The nickname is pretty much catchy. I like it. I don’t know if it’s gonna stick,” Newton added. “See, it’s too early to tell if it’s gonna stick now. But as of right now, the pending nickname for new guy Isaiah is 30 For 30.”
Later in the video conference, Newton was asked to clarify some of his other nicknames for current Patriots.
On Ryan Izzo earning the “Buzzo” nickname, Newton revealed, “Yeah, and that name came from ‘Home Alone.’ The brother, Buzz. And I thought Iz kinda resembled Buzz the older brother. So Izzo. Buzzo. You see.”
Cam Newton has revealed that Ryan Izzo got the nickname "Buzzo" because he looks like Buzz McCallister from Home Alone. pic.twitter.com/zO8rJnl3Hs
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) November 12, 2020
Newton also confirmed that “Crazy Legs” is Deatrich Wise Jr., “Bent Dawg” is Ja’Whaun Bentley, and “Bo Diddley” is Beau Allen. Newton also shared his thought process when doling out nicknames for the specialists.
“Well, it’s usually ‘Kicker Guy,'” Newton said of kicker Nick Folk. “But I wanted to call him kind of ‘Paul Pierce Guy,’ because he did kind of fake like he was injured, but came back and balled.”
The back story there: Folk was questionable with a back injury for Monday night’s game vs. the Jets, but then played, kicked the game-winning 51-yard field goal, and earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. The Paul Pierce reference is of course a reference to the Celtics great in a wheelchair during the 2008 Finals, only to return to the game to nail down some key 3-pointers.
“Then it’s ‘Kicker Guy, ‘Punter Guy,’ ‘Snapper Guy.’ But Snapper Guy is ‘Bill Belichick’s Favorite Guy,’ because he’s the only person who talks to the team, you know, from Veterans Day. … And, yeah, so, it’s the trifecta. It’s Kicker Guy, Punter Guy, Snapper Guy.”
One can only wonder what Newton would have called Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy.